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Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 26 September 2011 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

We now start a photographic tour of Valley of Fire State Park in Overton, Nevada. Our first stop was to see the beehive formations made out of sandstone. The Beehives are so named for their resemblance to beehives. This effect is caused by erosion, mostly wind. Wind erosion has two main processes, deflation and abrasion. Nearby is evidence of the process of deflation where sand is removed by wind and transported across the desert forming sand dunes and abrading rock surfaces along the way.

Although wind abrasion is not often as significant as the abrasion process in streams or along shores, it is significant over long periods of time. The result are sculpted rocks with unusual shapes. In a fluvial environment erosion results in rounded shapes as rocks are tumbled end over end. The wind based abrasion pits, polishes, facets and shapes the exposed rock surfaces in as many ways as the wind can blow.

As the sand is ultimately deposited in dunes somewhere, it takes on the shapes of ripples and waves like sand under flowing water. As the sand piles up, dunes get larger. As the wind continues to blow, the dunes migrate in the direction that it does. The shifting winds and the continuing deposition of sand creates an effect called cross bedding. This is caused by the sand being blown down the slip face or leeward side of the dune.

Over time the dunes that were created in this area became fossilized. Geologic process have reveal these fossilized dune fields and exposed them to erosion. At the Beehives we see the process repeat and reveal itself. The wind-blown sand abrades the softer rock first, articulating the layers of sand originally deposited hundreds of millions of years ago as the courser, leeward deposit remains. The beehives are located near the west entrance of the park.

Photo captured June 20, 2011.

NIKON D7000 1/321 second F/9.0 ISO 100 42 mm

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Spotlight Images

Marie LC from Entre montagnes et Bretagne, France

Just magnificent ! what wonderful warm colors !

26 Sep 2011 5:45am

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Fascinating picture Steve and an interesting read on how they were formed.

26 Sep 2011 7:11am

Kala from United States

Terrific warm light and color. Nature has so many amazing displays.

26 Sep 2011 7:51am

Stefanie from Paris, France

So wonderful warm colours. Thanks for the info how they were formed.

26 Sep 2011 7:54am

London Caller from London, United Kingdom

Ha! Bit too big for Mrs Simpson!

26 Sep 2011 9:08am

Florence from Paris, France

Great colors and a strange but eye-catching rock shape.

26 Sep 2011 9:50am

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

So many forces at work in this one spot . . fascinating natural sculpture !

26 Sep 2011 10:49am

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Nice warm tones.. lovely light. Excellent framing

26 Sep 2011 10:52am

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

A sense of wonder with these rocks and lovely capture of the warm ochre colours.

26 Sep 2011 11:22am

Heinz from Hamm, Germany

sehr gut im Licht und in den Farben.

26 Sep 2011 11:35am

Laurette from Johannesburg - Fourways, South Africa

Amazing capture of this intresting and ancient rock formations. Beautiful colours and texture. Thank you for very intresting information.

26 Sep 2011 11:59am

Victoria from Sweden

Wow, very nice picture and lovely light and colors. :)

26 Sep 2011 12:50pm

Jason Politte from Conway, AR, United States

What a fabulous structure. Erosion processes and the results are so intriguing. Wonderful shot Steven!

26 Sep 2011 1:50pm

Rick from Toronto, Canada

Fantastic post! The text is great for enhancing such a wonderful photo. Wow, what a structure.

26 Sep 2011 3:10pm

Roman from Thiersee, Austria

marvellous colors in your shot and thank you for the stunning background information.

26 Sep 2011 3:45pm

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

What an amazing narrative as well as the image, Steve! It pretty much "flies in the face" of those who like to dismiss or ignore the importance and intracacies of earth's evolution...just fantastic! I am ashamed and embarassed to say that in the 7 months I spent living in Las Vegas (working for an engineering company in their remote office) I never once made it out to Valley of Fire...and this was way back in 1978 -79 when I had the time and ability to do it...no excuse...So now I need to get back at least by way of your wonderful series which I definitely look forward to following! ;-)

26 Sep 2011 4:00pm

klausZ from Kufstein, Austria

a fascinating whims of nature! the color again is so unbelievable for me, i love that landscape!

26 Sep 2011 4:27pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

I love those intense colors in the rocks. This beehive is wonderful.

26 Sep 2011 5:03pm

....peter from Canada

Hello Steven from Chicagoland.
This is an excellent composition.... it is one of nature's fine sculptures and you have done it justice....peter:)
Thank you for your first visit to my site today.... you will always be welcomed here:)

26 Sep 2011 5:14pm

franz from Baden, Austria

stunning colors of this fascinating sandstone shape! interesting info, too!

26 Sep 2011 7:32pm

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

Amazing color and what an interesting formation. Great information. I have never seen anything like it. Beautiful composition!

26 Sep 2011 8:44pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

nicely done

26 Sep 2011 10:17pm

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

impressive structure and you captured it superbly with excellent sharpness and detail!

27 Sep 2011 1:09am

Sam from Chennai, India

Amazing warm colours and great detail. And thanks for the interesting information. Excellent. :)

27 Sep 2011 2:50pm

Philou04 from Manosque, France

Great texture.
Looks like Pacman eating the hill !

27 Sep 2011 7:23pm